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  2. Coronavirus
20 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Evening summary: A summer staycation?

By Samuel Horti

The government hopes to allow people to take a holiday in Britain as early as July, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said at this afternoon’s press conference. Asked whether the public might be able to enjoy a “staycation” this summer, he said he hoped the tourism industry was up and running “by the beginning of July”, and that he would champion the idea of a “great British break”. The target does not appear in the government’s official coronavirus strategy document.

The other big news of the day surrounded the government’s contact tracing system, which ministers initially said they would launch, in full, by the middle of this month. That’s now slipped to 1 June and, crucially, the system will go live before an NHS tracking app is rolled out across the UK. “Test, track and trace” has become merely “test and trace”, and the early iterations of the system will rely on 25,000 contact tracers, able to trace 10,000 new infections a day. The government has not said why the app has been delayed.

In other news, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control urged nations to prepare for a second wave of coronavirus, saying the only question was “when and how big” it would be, and France announced plans to reform its entire healthcare system

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